Waiver Wire Week 5

by Theo Gremminger · Waiver Wire

This is Waiver Wire Week 5!

Week 4’s Waiver Wire was less fruitful than in some of our earlier weeks of the season, and Week 5 does not have too many instant impact players. This is a week to shore up depth, add lottery ticket types, and get ready for the Bye weeks. Yes, the dreaded Bye weeks are back.

We want to be at least one week ahead of the Bye weeks, so we do not have to waste FAAB to fill needs. 

Here are the next three weeks of Byes. 



LA Chargers

Tampa Bay 



Green Bay







NY Jets 


Note: All players listed are available in 75% of Yahoo Leagues or more expect for players marked as SHALLOW LEAGUE ADDS. 


SHALLOW LEAGUE ADD C.J. Stroud | Houston (47%)

Stroud is still available in 53-percent of Yahoo Leagues. If he is available in your league, add him, even if that means you have to drop a considerable amount of FAAB. Stroud is the real deal. He would be my No. 1 Waiver Wire add in any league where he is still available.

Sam Howell | Washington (18%)

Howell is back in our good graces after a solid performance in Philadelphia. He passed for 290 yards and added a season-high 40 rushing yards. It was impressive to see the second year QB not only perform on the road but bounce back after a terrible performance against Buffalo in Week 3. Howell is currently QB17 on the season and has a great matchup against Chicago in Week 5. 

Baker Mayfield | Tampa Bay (18%)

Mayfield heads into his Bye week as QB14 overall on the season. The Bucs are 3-1, and Mayfield has some momentum. Mayfield has 23 rushing attempts on the season, which is an underrated aspect of his game. Mayfield had a season-high three TD passes in Week 4’s win over New Orleans. 

Joshua Dobbs | Arizona (5%)

Dobbs has been a Cinderella story so far this season. He is a strong consideration for Superflex managers. He has had three games with 40 or more rushing yards, and a surprisingly solid set of receivers in Marquise Brown, Michael Wilson and TE Zach Ertz. Dobbs is QB16 on the season. The schedule now eases up considerably after Arizona faced Dallas and San Francisco in back-to-back games. 

Zach Wilson | New York Jets (3%)

Wilson is a matchup based Superflex streamer this week against Denver. Denver has been abysmal, and Wilson is coming off his best professional game. 

Running Backs 

Jaleel McLaughlin | Denver (3%)

Javonte Williams exited Week 4’s come-from-behind win in Chicago with a hip injury. The team quickly assured everyone that there was nothing serious, and Williams would be fine. But what cannot be ignored was the strong play of McGlaughlin.

McLaughlin rushed for 72 yards on seven carries and added three catches for 32 yards and a TD as a receiver. On the season, McLaughlin has looked far more explosive than either Williams or Samaje Perine. McLaughlin is averaging 7.1 yards per carry. Williams is averaging 3.6 and Perine is averaging 3.7 yards per carry. At the very least, McLaughlin has earned a larger weekly role. There is also a chance that he is the next great UDFA in Denver and rises to RB2 land. 

Chuba Hubbard | Carolina (25%)

Miles Sanders is dealing with both pec and groin injuries. This past week, Hubbard out snapped him and out rushed him with 41 yards to Sanders’ 19. Hubbard is capable of taking on a much larger role if Sanders were to miss time. Box score watchers will allow Hubbard to be a much more affordable option than a player like McGlaughlin. Carolina’s offense is stuck in the mud, but there is potential for two-way volume here. 

Tyjae Spears | Tennessee (24%)

Derrick Henry had a smash game, and Spears still managed to see work. Spears has had four targets in three of the Titans first four games. On Sunday, he caught three passes and finished with 18 yards, adding 40 yards rushing. Spears is one of the best handcuffs in football and is carving out a weekly role that could put him in the category of “handcuff plus.” I write about Spears every chance I get because I want everyone who reads PlayerProfiler to have him on their roster. If Henry were to miss time, Spears would be a top 15 weekly play. 

SHALLOW LEAGUE ADD: Elijah Mitchell | San Francisco (41%)

Mitchell may be dropped after missing San Francisco’s Week 4 win over Arizona with a knee injury. The 49ers unwillingness to work in Jordan Mason was telling. Mitchell would be the next man in if Christian McCaffrey were to miss time. He would be a top 15 play at the RB position based on the quality of the offense. 

Tank Bigsby | Jacksonville (25%)

Bigsby has seen his role decrease. He has failed to live up to the expectations drafters had for him as a trendy pick in the preseason and a perceived threat to Travis Etienne. Bigsby has played behind D’Ernest Johnson at times. With that being said, I still believe that if Etienne were to miss time, Bigsby would see a large role in this Jacksonville offense.

Keaton Mitchell | Baltimore (17%) 

I have written about Mitchell for weeks, and he finally comes off of the IR. Mitchell is the most explosive back on the Ravens roster, with a 4.37 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine. He stood out in the preseason with his strong play before going down with a shoulder injury.

He now returns to a Ravens team already without J.K. Dobbins for the season and career backups Gus Edwards and Justice Hill leading the way. The Ravens self-scout about as well as anyone in football, and if Mitchell is the team’s most talented back, the coaching staff will find him a role. This is a very fun player and situation to stash in. 

SHALLOW LEAGUE ADD Jeff Wilson | Miami (27%)

We want Miami Dolphins on our fantasy benches. Wilson is the forgotten man right now in the Miami backfield, but he is set to come off of the IR soon. If anything were to happen to Devon Achane or Raheem Mostert, Wilson would be a player we could insert into the Flex. 

Ronnie Rivers | Los Angeles Rams (0%)

Fantasy analysts (OK, fine. Me) have been recommending Zach Evans as an RB to roster in LA behind the red-hot Kyren Williams. But one person who has yet to receive that memo is Sean McVay. Rivers rushed for a career-high 47 yards, caught two passes, and was the only Rams back to receive touches other than Williams. He is the handcuff in LA unless we see otherwise. 

Malik Davis/Deuce Vaughn | Dallas (0%)/(6%) (MONITOR DOWDLE INJURY)

Rico Dowdle suffered a hip injury, and the extent of the damage is unknown. He is getting an MRI this week. Vaughn had eight carries and finished with nine yards while adding a catch. He should be in for a larger weekly role behind Tony Pollard. If you have Pollard and want a handcuff, consider Vaughn. He certainly would not have a massive role if Pollard were to miss time, but he would receive the high-value touches in Dallas’ offense.  Davis should step up into the No. 3 role, and he makes for an interesting stash in deep formats.

If Dowdle is cleared, he would be the Dallas handcuff to stash. 

Zamir White | Las Vegas (4%)

White did nothing special on Sunday, but this is a reminder that he is the handcuff in Vegas. Josh Jacobs led the NFL in carries last year, and the track record for running backs who accomplish this feat is not a good one. If you want a cheap handcuff and have room on your roster for a lottery ticket, consider White. 

Pierre Strong | Cleveland (1%)

Cleveland was dominated from start to finish as Baltimore won 28-3. Strong was the Browns’ third string running back but made the most with his fourth-quarter opportunities. He rushed for 49 yards on only five carries and was far more productive than Jerome Ford (26 yards) or Kareem Hunt (12 yards).

This was Hunt’s first action since returning to Cleveland, and Ford has a locked-in role as a receiver, but the Browns still seem to be figuring things out at RB. Finding more touches for the explosive Strong may be on tap in the upcoming weeks. 

Wide Receivers

Michael Wilson | Arizona (2%)

Wilson stood out at the Senior Bowl and quickly rose draft boards. Arizona selected him in the Round 3 of the NFL Draft, and he looked impressive in the preseason. His role has been growing week to week. Wilson caught two passes for 86 yards in Week 3 as Arizona beat Dallas. Week 4 saw his role grow even larger. Wilson caught all seven of his targets and set career highs in both receiving yards and touchdowns. Wilson finished with 76 receiving yards and two TDs. We are not chasing TDs here but rather opportunity and talent. Wilson’s role looks to be growing. He is a physical WR at 6-2 and 215 pounds. Wilson is not unlike Terry McLaurin in his playing style and potential role. He is one of my favorite waiver wire adds this week. 

SHALLOW LEAGUE ADD Rashee Rice | Kansas City (36%)

Rice drew another five targets in Kansas City’s win over the New York Jets on Sunday night. He has had at least five targets in three out of four games and is quickly becoming the most reliable WR on the Chiefs. What Rice needs is to see a usage bump is snaps. He had the fourth most snaps among all Chiefs wideouts this week. However, the competition is not exactly a murderer’s row. Rice should overtake Justin Watson and Marquez Valdes-Scantling soon, and he has been utilized more than Skyy Moore. I want Rice is any league he is still available.

SHALLOW LEAGUE ADD Marvin Mims | Denver (39%)

Marvin Mims leads all Denver Broncos in receiving yards, but the snaps and routes have stayed the same. Mims ran only 12 routes and played a total of 17 snaps. Unfortunately, he is a talented, electric, and explosive player who is only a stash for now. I would prioritize him because of his immense fantasy production, especially if Denver moves Courtland Sutton or Jerry Jeudy.

SHALLOW LEAGUE ADD Josh Reynolds | Detroit (39%)

Reynolds continued his strong start to the season with three catches for 69 yards in Week 4’s win over Green Bay. With at least six targets and 65 yards receiving in every game played this season, Reynolds has been a consistent and reliable player in Detroit’s potent offense. Jameson Williams return (see below) will make Reynolds a less desirable add to some fantasy managers, but Williams is more of a threat to players like Kalif Raymond and Marvin Jones than he is Reynolds. 

Josh Downs | Indianapolis (11%)

Downs had his quietest game of the season, with season lows of three targets and two catches. But in every other game this year, Downs has had at least five targets, including a 12-target, eight-catch performance in Week 3’s win over Baltimore. He ran nearly identical routes to Michael Pittman this week. Look for Downs to bounce back in a big way this week in a Divisional matchup against Tennessee. 

SHALLOW LEAGUE ADD Jameson Williams | Detroit (32%)

An NFL rule change last week brought the pleasant surprise of Jameson Williams having his suspension reduced. He is now immediately eligible for a Week 5 return. Williams, the No. 12 overall pick in 2022, was a major disappointment last season. He came off of an injury, and played in six uneventful games, catching only one pass.

But Williams speed and pedigree is undeniable, and Detroit spent significant draft capital to acquire him. Stashing him where available and seeing where his role is headed is worth a shot. 

SHALLOW LEAGUE ADD Zay Jones | Jacksonville (31%)

Jones was ruled out for Week 4 after also missing Week 3. He is dealing with a knee injury but was not designated for the IR, meaning his return should be sooner than later. There is a chance Jones was cut in your league, and if he was, scoop him up. Jones has seen multiple end-zone targets this season already. Big Play Zay should not be on the Waiver Wire. 

SHALLOW LEAGUE ADD Tyler Boyd | Cincinnati (37%)

Tee Higgins will miss some time with a significant rib injury. Old faithful Tyler Boyd will step into his place opposite Ja’Marr Chase. Boyd has had seven or more targets in three straight games and will be in line for an even larger role now. He has a capped ceiling, and the Bengals offense is not exactly elevating anyone right now, but Boyd will be a WR3/4 and a flex consideration for many managers. 

Trey Palmer | Tampa Bay (0%)

Palmer, Tampa Bay’s sixth-round draft pick, looks to see a significant bump in usage should Mike Evans miss time with a hamstring injury. He has caught two TD passes already this season and has speed and physicality. Tampa Bay is on bye this week, keeping Palmer’s FAAB cost affordable. 

Wan’Dale Robinson | New York Giants (5%)

Editor’s Note – This article was written before the Giants played the Seahawks on Monday Night Football.

Robinson had four catches on five targets in Week 3. This was his first game back from injury. He could see even more work on Monday Night Football. The Giants need playmakers, and the former second-round draft pick has a skill set that matches up with Daniel Jones

Curtis Samuel | Washington (9%)

Here we go again. Samuel, the forgotten Washington receiver during draft season, has seen a utilization increase. He played very well in Washington’s loss to Philadelphia, finishing with seven catches for 51 yards and scoring a short TD on a rush. Samuel is a WR4, and if Washington uses him on more designed runs, he could be a potential flex play during bye weeks. 

Allen Lazard | New York Jets (22%)

Lazard is coming off a season-high 61 receiving yards and a TD in New York’s loss to Kansas City.

He is a risky play in Week 5, but if you are truly desperate for a bye week fill-in or struggling with injuries, Lazard faces off against the Denver Broncos defensive sieve. 

Tight Ends 

Zach Ertz | Arizona (26%)

Ertz is the number one Waiver Wire add at the TE spot this week and makes my top five overall. He equaled a season high with ten targets, finishing with six catches for 53 yards this week. Ertz has had eight targets or more three times in four games played. The target tree in Arizona is starting to take shape with Hollywood Brown and Ertz being joined by Michael Wilson. Prioritize Ertz if you are in need of TE help or as a depth piece/bye week fill in. 

SHALLOW LEAGUE ADD Luke Musgrave | Green Bay

Musgrave exited Week 4 with a head injury. He is expected back in Week 5. Musgrave was coming off of a season-high six catches and eight targets. Green Bay and Detroit played on a Thursday, giving Musgrave longer to clear the protocol. 

SHALLOW LEAGUE ADD Gerald Everett | Los Angeles (34%)

Everett had a quiet game but could see an increase in usage if Donald Parham were to miss time with a wrist injury. Everett had six catches and six targets in Week 3. 

Jonnu Smith | Atlanta (0%)

Do I want to be writing about Jonnu Smith as a viable Waiver Wire add? Nope. Does he deserve to be listed here? Absolutely. Smith led (Yes, led- over Drake London and Kyle Pitts) Atlanta with 95 receiving yards in Sunday’s loss to Jacksonville. He has 15 catches on 20 targets over the last three games played. The Jonnu Smith/Arthur Smith reunion (Tennessee before Atlanta) has been more fruitful than anticipated. If Kyle Pitts is traded near the deadline (wishful thinking), then Smith would be a top 15 weekly play at the position. 

Tyler Conklin | New York Jets (3%)

Despite the struggles of the New York Jets offense, Conklin has been highly consistent in his usage. He has had at least five targets in each of the last three games. On Sunday Night, Conklin finished with a season-high 58 receiving yards. There is nothing flashy about Conklin, but he should be rostered in a lot more leagues than he is right now. TE Premium managers like those who play FFPC should consider Conklin. 

Logan Thomas | Washington (6%)

Thomas returned from injury this week and led the Washinton TEs. He has had at least three targets in every game played this year.

Thomas is a depth piece for fantasy managers in TE premium formats and a matchup-specific dart throw for PPR managers.

Darnell Washington | Pittsburgh (0%)

The massive rookie would be in line for a start this week if Pat Freiermuth was to miss time with a hamstring injury. TE Premium managers should consider Washington. He is more of a blocker than a receiver, but he is a bigtime athlete and a red zone threat. 


(NOTE- A few SHALLOW LEAGUE ADDS are also strong considerations this week) 

1- CJ Stroud QB Houston 

2- Jaleel McGlaughlin RB Denver

3- Michael Wilson WR Arizona 

4- Chuba Hubbard RB Carolina

5- Zach Ertz TE Arizona

6- Rashee Rice WR Kansas City

7- Luke Musgrave TE Green Bay

8- Tyjae Spears RB Tennessee 

9- Keaton Mitchell RB Baltimore

10- Josh Downs WR Indianapolis